Protective Football Helmet Models Being Made to Prevent Concussions

Vicis Zero1 Helmet


Vicis Zero1 Helmet

As time passes, people are becoming more concerned about protection in football as many reports of head trauma and concussions are being brought up. Riddell, the leading producer of football equipment, has a suburban Chicago office that is researching the best ways to create protective helmets that can withstand the force of a headbutt or any other strong impact. At first, people didn’t perceive slight head trauma or concussions as important, but as time passed, scientists began to notice chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a severe brain disease. After this, the public became more involved with the issue. Because of this scientists made many efforts to create lightweight helmets that prevented these damages.

Illinois homes the two leading football equipment producers, Riddell, and Schutt. Schutt produces 37 percent of what NFL players use while Riddell produces about 60 percent. However, they are both committed to putting effort into making safer helmets for players. Riddell is funding research that includes using 3-D technology to study the components that could make for a safer football helmet, and hiring engineers that are finding the most efficient and effective way to create the equipment. Meanwhile, Experiments are being made that involve impact calculations, temperature, other weather conditions, and the effectiveness of specific materials.

Some people like Robert Cantu, a neurosurgeon, and co-founder of Boston University CTE Center think that making safer helmets might not have much of an effect on protection and may not be the best solution, however as the problem becomes more of a threat, companies still work diligently to produce a safer helmet model. CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy cause depression, dementia, and even suicide temptations. Several football players like Ken Stabler were diagnosed with CTE. One of the symptoms of this disease kicked in, and he, unfortunately, committed suicide. Another person who was taken by CTE was a former New England Patriot member who was in prison after being convicted of murder. A study shows that 110 out of 111 NFL players had CTE whether it was slight or severe.

After the revelation of dangers that come with playing football, many youth groups were taken down because of lack of involvement and participation. Youth football participation has gone down by 12 percent, high school football participation has gone down by 4 percent, while Illinois football participation has gone down by 10 percent. Some schools and programs like North Shore Country Day School have completely shut down because not enough people are signing up. Since 2002 NFL has changed their rules to fit the requirements for safer conditions. Some people like Cantu wanted to have even more restrictions but as the more protective helmets were released, the idea of not being able to ram people with your head vanished. The helmet that had the best performance according to Schutt and Riddell was The Vicis Zero1 model.

After these more protective helmets were released, fewer people were involved in the subject, and many were now at ease. However, many people that were very entangled in this topic began to still deny the fact that protective helmets significantly changed the results of NFL players getting CTE or head trauma. Many opposers made their voice known by publicly explaining why helmets aren’t useful or directly addressing Schutt and Riddell to try to encourage them to find a more effective way to end brain damage in football. Despite these efforts, scientists and engineers that worked for either NFL equipment producing company concluded that there are some risks to playing football and that what they have created is the best possible solution.